Registration and Evaluation of the effects of Hippotherapy with patients suffering multiple sclerosis by means of electromygraphy and acceleration measurement

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Author

A. Webster, Dr. D. Aldridge, Dr. J. Reissenweber, Dr. W. Rimpau, J. Fachner, M. Pfotenhauer, Prof. Dr. E. David, U. Leyerer

Year

1994

Electromyograms of disturbed muscle groups and acceleration measured near to the centre of gravity of the human body were recorded from 10 healthy people and 9 patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. Recordings were token during locomotion before riding, while on the horse and one hour after hippotherapy.

Special software was developed for the evaluation, and graphing, of the effects of therapy on the rhythm and regulority of gait, and on co-ordination porameters in the registered signals. Several calculated porameters were tested statistically (SPSSj.Variability of step phases during gait and co-octivation factors of musclegroups were found to be good parameters for evaluating the effects of hippotherapy on spasticity and ataxia.

The resultsshow that it is obviously not possible to get uniform outcomes valid for all patients. An important reason for the lock of unity in the outcome results is the variance in the paftern of symptoms as presented by patients.

Looking at single cases, we found positive effects of hippotherapy subject to individual symptoms in 6 of 9 cases. These effects occurred with short latency after therapy sessions. Single cases will be discussed in this paper.